Define Scope Process

In collect requirements process which was conducted before defining the scope, we collected the requirements in order to shape the scope of the project and products of the project. Now, as a project manager, we need to write down all the work into the project scope. Define scope process is very important for PMP too as it includes the work to do in the project.

While defining the scope, a project manager has to make sure to prevent any miscommunication by creating clear terms and definitions. A glossary of terms would be very helpful to achieve this. Every stakeholder should understand the same from the scope of the project. 

Another important aspect about the scope of a project is the scope should be as comprehensive as possible as any missing requirements, assumptions and constraints in project or product scope will bring about changes. A PMP certified project manager needs to be proactive and try to involve all project work into the scope and welcome changes only if they are necessary and approved. 

Define scope process falls into the planning process group and scope management knowledge area.

Inputs of the Define Scope Process

  • Scope management plan: It provides the processes for developing the scope and monitoring and controlling the project scope
  • Project Charter: Provides the high-level description and project characteristics which is very essential for the definition of the scope.
  • Requirements documentation: This will be used to select the requirements for the project.
  • Organizational Process Assets: These are the company's own standards about how to run a project. It includes their guidelines, instructions and procedures. You need to follow also lessons learned as one of the organizational process assets for defining the scope.
  • Assumption Log : You need to take predefined assumptions and constraints about the project while defining the scope.
  • Risk Register: Risk register is useful while creating the scope statement.

Tools and Techniques Used in Defining the Scope


  • Facilitation: Facilitation is a more structured way of group discussion where the moderator leads the group through the brainstorming session. In this discussion, you make sure that you're in the same line as stakeholders. You can also discuss the quantifiable goals which can be measured on the project.
  • Multicriteria Decision Analysis: With this technique, you make decisions about the scope of the project according to a set of predefined criteria.
  • Product analysis: By using this technique while defining the scope, you write down the features of the product so that your stakeholders know you're working on the product as per their expectations.
  • Alternatives Analysis: This is about thinking of other ways to do the work, exploring different options to do the work more efficiently. This might lead you to change the original scope management plan.
  • Expert judgment: This is about bringing in the experts who can help you experts from outside the project or someone from outside the department or even a contractor to define the scope.

Outputs Created in Define Scope Process
  • Project scope statement : Scope statement includes project objectives, detailed description of the project, project requirements, project exclusions, project deliverables, product acceptance criteria and assumptions and constraints of a project.

Outputs Updated
  • Stakeholder register
  • Requirements documentation
  • Requirements traceability matrix
  • Assumption log